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Interview: Niles ‘Cyranizzy’ Hollowell-Dhar of The Cataracs

We talked to Party of the Year headliner The Cataracs about his new direction as a solo artist, his favorite collaborators and his New Year’s resolutions


Posted December 30, 2013 by Tracy Chan

nilesThis New Year’s Eve at Kakaako Park will feature multiple stages of live bands and DJs, Eat the Street in the parking lot and fireworks throughout the night, but one of the things people are really excited for is the set by headlining act The Cataracs, who will be on stage at midnight to ring in the New Year.

We had the chance to interview remaining member Niles “Cyranizzy” Hollowell-Dhar, who performs as The Cataracs. Anyone who’s spent time in nightclubs or listened to the radio in the last several years should be familiar with The Cataracs’ electro/hip-hop club hits: “Like a G6″ and “Bass Down Low.” Here’s Niles’ take on his new direction as a solo artist, his favorite collaborators and his New Year’s resolutions.

NS: Thank you for spending New Year’s Eve with us here in Honolulu! Is this your first time to the Islands?

Niles: I’ve only been to Maui and Kauai so far. Really excited to visit Honolulu for the first time. All of my visits have been pretty tame and focused on taking it easy thus far, so I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys get down for New Year’s.

NS: You’ve always had a very danceable electronic element to your songs, but I understand recently you’ve been leaning toward a stronger EDM focus than before. Do you think this fusion of other genres with electronic music is a wider musical trend, as EDM becomes more popular? 

I think you can see EDM’s influence in music across the board. It’s always been an influence in mine. The first album The Cataracs released in 2006 was called “Technohop Vol 1.” I think I might start focusing a lot more on dance music because of the freedom it affords you. The more commercial world of pop music has been really good to me but I hate how it can restrain you creatively.

NS: Probably just about everybody who goes clubbing knows your hits, but are there any of your more introspective songs you think deserve more notice?

There are a couple songs we made that I really liked but didn’t become all that popular like “The Sun” and “Undercover.”

NS: You’ve worked with a lot of big names in the biz; who are a few of your favorite people to collaborate with, thus far?

Enrique Iglesias has become like a big brother to me, he’s incredibly genuine and a real human being. Robin Thicke is also one of the coolest guys in the biz. Working on his album was a lot of fun.

Cataracs-Niles-pic-630x420NS: Is it challenging to be a solo artist under a plural stage name? 

Haha, that’s a great question. I wouldn’t say it’s challenging, but people do get confused. It doesn’t bug me to explain the situation though. I’m still good friends with the co-founding member, David.

NS: What are three of your favorite bands or musical acts at the moment?

I love DJ Snake, Imagine Dragons and Showtek. Everything they’ve done recently has been really exciting to me.

NS: What’s new with you? New records, musical projects? 

Production wise I’ve been working with Pitbull, Enrique, Selena Gomez, Becky G and a few others. As far as my own stuff there’s a chance I’ll be starting a new project soon.

NS: Got a New Year’s Resolution? 

Hmm… Make some good music, keep my girlfriend happy. Oh yeah, and gain weight! My mom keeps on saying I’m too skinny. I’m gonna try, Mom. I’m gonna try.

Yeah, you know this song.

 

And here’s The Cataracs’ single from this year, Big Dipper, with Luciana (Warning: May not be entirely work-safe):

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For all my Night Lights blog entries, visit nonstophonolulu.com/category/blogs/nightlights.

Follow Tracy on Twitter at @chant808, on Instagram at @chants808 or email her at tracy@nonstophonolulu.com. 

About Tracy Chan

Tracy Chan is a night owl who loves chronicling Honolulu's vibrant nightlife scene through photography and the written word.   The former Metromix Associate Producer (currently a freelance photographer and writer), she is a journalism major from the University of Hawaii, a body constantly in motion, and a pro at steering inebriated partygoers.

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